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    How can I increase my chances of getting an interview?
    Current Year 12 (state school) studying maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
    Work experience/jobs : EY, helped at local primary school, coaching various sports
    Extra : bronze, silver, gold DofE, UKMT individual and team challenge, mentor for younger years in Maths, spoken in front of parents at school events, play cricket and tennis

    What else should I consider doing to increase my chances of gaining a place or interview ?
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    (Original post by KSanders)
    How can I increase my chances of getting an interview?
    Current Year 12 (state school) studying maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
    Work experience/jobs : EY, helped at local primary school, coaching various sports
    Extra : bronze, silver, gold DofE, UKMT individual and team challenge, mentor for younger years in Maths, spoken in front of parents at school events, play cricket and tennis

    What else should I consider doing to increase my chances of gaining a place or interview ?
    I'll just give you the simple and straight up truth:

    All of the extra-curricular stuff you mentioned is useless except the UKMT and maybe the mentoring part. Almost everyone gets an interview, and thats based off things like choice of A Level subjects, predicted grades (at Cambridge) - at Oxford it's a little different (GCSE a* count, MAT performance), but it's not too hard to get an interview really. What will determine whether or not you get an offer, is MAT performance, interview scores, GCSEs, predicted grades, and that's about it.

    Personal statement and reference barely count at all. I dont know as much about Oxford, but for Cambridge, STEP is what destroys most people's place at Cambridge. Over 50% fail the STEP offer. It's really, really difficult.

    So stop believing in the myth that extra curriculars will get you in - they won't at all. Start by getting good predicted grades (A*A*A).
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    I'll just give you the simple and straight up truth:

    All of the extra-curricular stuff you mentioned is useless except the UKMT and maybe the mentoring part. Almost everyone gets an interview, and thats based off things like choice of A Level subjects, predicted grades (at Cambridge) - at Oxford it's a little different (GCSE a* count, MAT performance), but it's not too hard to get an interview really. What will determine whether or not you get an offer, is MAT performance, interview scores, GCSEs, predicted grades, and that's about it.

    Personal statement and reference barely count at all. I dont know as much about Oxford, but for Cambridge, STEP is what destroys most people's place at Cambridge. Over 50% fail the STEP offer. It's really, really difficult.

    So stop believing in the myth that extra curriculars will get you in - they won't at all. Start by getting good predicted grades (A*A*A).

    Thank you for the reply, to add context at GCSE I got 9s in English language, lit and Maths and A*s in the others and I'm currently predicted A*A*A*A. Thanks for the advice and I will begin looking at MAT and STEP test straight away and work on my interview techniques.
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    They don't care about your Work experience or volunteering (unless you want to apply to a course such as medicine or eng, but even then not really important). You need to have a good personal statement, good grades, good references and your GCSE to be ok (especially if you apply to oxford).
    Try to make your personal statement 100% relevant to your course you apply. However, if you wish, you can add a line or 2 about something you did for maths such you been involved in UKMT, etc etc.

    (I am applying to CS Cambridge next year ) Good luck
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    (Original post by KSanders)
    Thank you for the reply, to add context at GCSE I got 9s in English language, lit and Maths and A*s in the others and I'm currently predicted A*A*A*A. Thanks for the advice and I will begin looking at MAT and STEP test straight away and work on my interview techniques.
    That's good you got those GCSEs but they're not really going to significantly affect your chances, they're much more interested in recent academic performance (AS, predicted grades and MAT/STEP). Also how are you predicted A*A*A*A when you've only been in sixth form for 2 months? It's the mocks at the end of year 12/AS levels (if you're doing them) that determine predicted grades.

    And it's up to you of course but there's really no point in preparing for MAT/STEP and interview a year before you have to do them The way that they're designed is that you can't really prepare for them (MAT/STEP and interview as well), it's more about natural ability and how you perform on the day.
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    (Original post by jakey_99)
    The way that they're designed is that you can't really prepare for them (MAT/STEP and interview as well), it's more about natural ability and how you perform on the day.
    Largely agree with the rest of what you've written, but you absolutely can prepare for STEP/MAT, and preparation makes a big difference in how people do. Cambridge (or Dr Siklos, at any rate) even says explicitly that part of STEP is to test your ability to put in hard preparation work.

    As someone who helps people on TSR prepare for the STEP/MAT exams, I think something that's particularly frustrating is when you see people who have clearly left it too late to get in adequate preparation and end up short changing themselves as a result. This is particularly the case for the MAT, since it comes up so much sooner in the academic year.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Largely agree with the rest of what you've written, but you absolutely can prepare for STEP/MAT, and preparation makes a big difference in how people do. Cambridge (or Dr Siklos, at any rate) even says explicitly that part of STEP is to test your ability to put in hard preparation work.

    As someone who helps people on TSR prepare for the STEP/MAT exams, I think something that's particularly frustrating is when you see people who have clearly left it too late to get in adequate preparation and end up short changing themselves as a result. This is particularly the case for the MAT, since it comes up so much sooner in the academic year.
    Yeah now that I think about it you can prepare for MAT/STEP, I was probably confusing the other admission assessments too much (https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4243562, which although to be fair you can still prepare for by practising specimen/past papers). In any case though someone like the OP shouldn't really be thinking about preparing for it now IMO, especially if they apply to Cambridge (STEP wouldn't be until June 2019).
 
 
 
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